Acapulco is picking up the pieces after Hurricane Otis, a surprise Category 5 hurricane with 165 mph winds, devastated this Mexican resort town, and the meeting planning industry is helping.
Mexico President Andrés Manuel López Obrador announced Monday that Mexico’s largest travel industry trade show, Tianguis Turistico, will occur in Acapulco in April 2024. The president’s announcement comes less than a week after Mexican government officials confirmed that a search was underway for a new destination for the event.
In a live-streamed press conference, he shared the Government of Mexico’s commitment to rehabilitate 35 hotels for the gathering. Prominent business leaders from Acapulco echoed this goal.
Expo Mundo Imperial will host the event. The venue has over 237,000 square feet of exhibit space and a 700-room hotel. It’s just ten minutes from Acapulco International Airport.
Meetings and Incentives Relocate from Acapulco for Now
For now, scheduled meetings and incentives are moving to Mexican destinations. They include Puerto Vallarta, Ixtapa, Pueblo, and Morelos, said Ibarra.
Before the hurricane, Acapulco had all the elements to motivate incentive winners. Ibarra brought a group of 100 to the destination at the end of September.
A popular convention destination, 3,000 attendees were in town for a mining congress when Hurricane Otis struck. All are okay. Otis had the fastest 12-hour intensification rate of any hurricane on the Pacific Coast.
MPI Supports Acapulco’s Recovery
The Mexico chapter of Meeting Professionals International (MPI) is joining forces with the Caribe Mexicano chapter to collect supplies and money for the victims.
Alfonso Ibarra, president of the MPI Mexico Chapter, CEO of Wondrus Meeting Planner and a member of MPI’s Latin America (LATAM) Advisory Council, and Bernardo Santillana, president of MPI Caribe Mexicano Chapter, are leading the effort.
The first priority is to send basic necessities like food, water, and clothing to Acapulco, said Ibarra. He is also joining his fellow MPI members in offering temporary jobs to those who now find themselves unemployed. After Tianguis Turistico, he says there will be a big push to bring international congresses, exhibitions, and incentives to Acapulco to help.
MPI is working with its LATAM chapter leaders to find additional ways to help the city. The MPI Mexico chapter plans to move its national congress to Acapulco to support the destination.
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